Archives / 2003 / August
  • Web Services: Why aren't we seeing more?

    So, I was reading G. Andrew Duthie's grammer nazi spiel,  and I decided to surf on over to While I was “just visiting,” I was struck by the realization that a dictionary or thesaurus lookup is almost the textbook example for providing a web service, yet I didn't see any reference to such on the website. Is anyone really using web services outside internal projects or verticle integration efforts?

  • Review: My first Atlanta DNUG meeting

    The other day I mentioned that I was going to my first DotNet Users Group meeting here in Atlanta.  Someone had asked that I post my impressions, so I'll do so.
    First, I'd like to express my utmost respect for anyone that has the ability and inclination to stand up in front of a group of people and give a presentation, especially in front of a bunch of techies who could likely chew you up and spit you out. There's nothing like being heckled by some of the guys who may very well have helped “write the book” on the subject that you are talking about.  That takes guts, and I tip my hat to you.
    Now, on to the show.  I arrived during the pre-show festivities - the organizers were, for lack of a better term, organized.  Check in was quick, we were given a complimentary copy of ASP.NET Pro magazine, a nametag, and a raffle ticket for the schwag raffle at the end (in this case, several ASP.NET books and a few t-shirts, none of which I was the recipient of.)
    The facilities were very nice, as it was located at the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology.  The conference hall was wired, with ethernet run to each seat location.  Very few people brought laptops, but it was obviously convenient for those who had.
    The first half hour was dedicated to networking, and meeting people. As is true with many techies, this really isn't my forte, but I did find myself in a fairly interesting conversation or two. The crowd was predominantly contractors, with very few permanent employees present.  I wasn't so surprised by this, really, but I did note one thing that struck me as interesting.  Of the (few) that were admittedly unemployed, they tended to congregate amongst themselves, and generally commiserate. The self proclaimed 'successful' people also congregated, and had passionate conversations about their latest projects. Was the passion (or lack theirof) a causal factor of employment, or an effect? I'd vote the former - it's likely that people who are more passionate about their work are also more likely to be employed.
    The main presentation was “Deploying .Net Applications Using Visual Studio” by Doug Ware.  Doug did a pretty good job of presenting a relatively dry topic.  As I've blogged about before, I'm not a big fan of MSI, and that's pretty much what we were covering.  In the hour long presentation, Doug showed us how VS.NET can be used to create an extremely simple deployment solution, and the cases in which it might fall short.  Let me tell you, the cases in which it falls short far outnumber the ones in which it doesn't.  If you are looking to put a simple GUI onto what would basically be an XCopy deployment + shortcuts + Uninstall capability, then VS.NET deployment solutions might be for you.  In all other cases, look towards InstallShield or Wise for your deployment solutions.  You'll thank yourself in the long run.
    Still, big thanks to Doug for taking us on the nickel tour of VS.NET deployment solutions. I'd also like to thank the sponsor - but I'd also like to point this out to all sponsors of events like this.  If you've spent the money to sponsor a meeting, it's really OK to spend a minute or two hyping your company or tech. I'd forgotten who the sponsor was 2 seconds after it was announced, because they didn't have anything to say.  Really, say something, so I can remember you.  Tell me why I want to know you, or your product. You've paid for the time, use it. Remember, though - I don't want a boring marketing presentation.